Responding to WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder’s recent public statements, former WBA Interim Heavyweight Champion Luis Ortiz would like to let him know: “I signed up for the WBC/VADA Clean Boxing Program last September. Stop using that excuse to avoid fighting me!”
The undefeated Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs), of Camaguey, Cuba, now living in Miami, has been trying to get Wilder into a boxing ring for quite a while, as Wilder has chosen to face a string of what many would label second-tier opponents to defend against.
“He’s scared!” said Ortiz of Wilder. “The more he can use my failed test against me he will. He and (promoter Lou) DiBella are saying he won’t fight me because of that. That was years ago, and since that unfortunate incident, for which I was punished, I have tested a dozen times clean. Now he’s trying to say I haven’t signed up for VADA Clean Boxing… guess what Wilder? I signed up last September when I was notified that all WBC contenders need to be part of their new Clean Boxing Program. I filled out the paperwork and my trainer submitted it to the WBC. He can stop using that excuse to avoid me. I have nothing to hide and do not have to prove any longer to anyone that I am clean. Wilder is nothing but a paper champion who happened to be at the right place at the right time against the right opponent with, most importantly, the right promoter. That’s all he is.”
Ortiz’s trainer, Herman Caicedo of Caicedo Sports Training Center of Miami, Florida, also says Ortiz’s failed drug test in 2014 is no longer a factor.
“Since failing his test years ago, Luis has been tested over a dozen times, voluntarily and mandatorily in fights. He has made it very clear that he never wants that to happen again and I wouldn’t work with a fighter I even suspected wasn’t clean. There’s too much involved in how I train fighters. We all put a lot of blood sweat and tears into training for a failed drug test to derail the entire process. I do my own drug panels and steroid checks before I take fighters. And those that do not wish to willingly participate, I will not train.”
Ortiz says sooner or later, Wilder will run out of excuses to avoid him or be run out of boxing.
“My mentality was always to beat whoever was the best fighter in my division, period. I don’t handpick my opponents. This is all weird and new to me. He can’t run for much longer though. I assume he will try to unify or vacate before he has to fight me. He can’t unify with the Joshua/Klitschko winner because I am the mandatory above any unification fight, and I will not be jumped over. So, he can try to beat up (New Zealand-based contender Joseph) Parker after his next fight. Then retire the paper champion he is.”
“I am very confident about the outcome if Ortiz and Wilder ever do fight,” continued Caicedo. “Ortiz will knock him out within 10 rounds. Luis has a level to his approach that I haven’t seen in quite some time. He is a throwback, old-school heavyweight boxer. He has incredible poise, precision, and ring generalship. He’s accurate with this punches and defensively very sound. If they ever do fight, Wilder will be exposed. But, he will probably retire a legend in his own mind without ever fighting anybody.”
Ortiz says no matter what happens with Deontay Wilder, he is happy and comfortable with his life.
“I would like to thank my team: Jay, Javier and my trainer Herman for the support they give me throughout all this uncertainty, as well as my fans and, most important to me, my wife and three children. I never thought I would be fighting to make a living. Boxing was always what I did because I loved it. I fought for pride. I fought for bragging rights!! I have already achieved one dream and that was to be here in the United States with my family. I am a United States citizen and very proud. Now to be able to box for a living, make money and potentially become world champion… that, to me, is priceless.”